A Quinnipiac book club combats perfectionism

Hannah Mirsky, Associate Producer

Students at Quinnipiac University are joining a book club, and the first book on the agenda is “The Perfection Detox” by Petra Kolber. It’s about finding ways to not let perfectionism consume their lives.

Tami Reilly, the Director of Fitness and Well Being, purchased 30 copies of the book for the book club. Kolber meets with students each Wednesday for four weeks in October over Zoom to further talk about combating perfectionism. Kolber also posts many resources and information in a facebook group for the members of the book club.

“I feel the idea is something many of us struggle with, the idea of perfection… so I just knew when she was on this journey that I was going to bring it to campus some way,” Reilly said.

Kolber grew up with an alcoholic father and felt the entire town looked down on her family with that image so she began keeping the negative thoughts inside to put up a front to show everyone and herself that she lives a perfect life.

Perfectionism often weighs on a person’s mental health and can trigger anxiety or depression.

“Some see perfection as the driver to their success and adjourn their happiness and for a few this might be true, but for most of us perfectionism is actually the roadblock,” Kolber said in a TEDx Talk at Syracuse University.

Besides academics, many students try to make their lives seem more perfect online than in reality.

“We worry about it all the time and I think we can see a lot with the likes we get on our social media account and posting just the right pictures at just the right time. It becomes this other piece of something that just nags at us, wears away and withers us down,” Reilly said.

The National Alliance of Mental Illness [NAMI] is a student chapter on campus that promotes and advocates for mental health on campus.

Shannon Goria, the President of NAMI, says many students do not know the resources our university has.

“Some great resources a lot of students don’t know are the counseling services that Quinnipiac has. Not only that but outside resources like going to a therapist and joining our club,” Goria said.

The club hosts a weekly support group called Talk to Me Tuesdays where students meet with each other in an open space to comfortably talk about their feelings, managing school and life in general.

As students continue to adjust to college, especially to online learning, there are resources at Quinnipiac that will make the transition easier and positively help mental health.